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Step-Saving Kitchen

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Step-Saving Kitchen

Published 1949

Demonstrating a U-shaped kitchen developed by the housing staff of the Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics. Advocates and demonstrates modern farm kitchens. Direction: Irving Rusinow. Subject Matter: Lenore E. Sater, Helen Holbrook. Script: Frances R. Wasser. Camera: Homer Boor. Narration: Lenore E. Sater. Sound: Reuben Ford. Functional House Dresses: Clarice Scott and Staff.

Run time 13:11
Producer U.S. Department of Agriculture, Motion Picture Service
Sponsor U.S. Department of Agriculture
Audio/Visual Sd, C


ÒDemonstrating a U-shaped kitchen developed by the housing staff of the Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics.Ó

Arrangement and use of a modern farm kitchen designed and built by the Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics. Planned to combine attractiveness and a maximum of efficiency with a minimum of walking, stooping, or bending. It has many new features, but the basic difference between this and many other modern kitchens is in the arrangement of the work areas.

MS 3 women in green functional house dresses standing side by side mixing bowls with spoons, all looking down (good shot)
CU old wall phone (little black box with standalone dial on top) ringing (good)
MCU woman at kitchen workstation talking on phone with table radio in front of her
MCU woman taking baking supplies off rotating shelves in corner of kitchen
CU womanÕs hands peeling potatoes over garbage hatch in counter
Rest not logged

Time study Motion study Home economics Kitchens Domestic architecture Efficiency


Reviewer: ShariD57 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 15, 2016
Subject: A Link To The Plans!
Apparently we are only allowed one review so the text of my first one disappeared when I posted this information. Some more information, including some diagrams and other photographs are available online, but they are a PDF download (I think about 16 pages) from the USDA, and indicating a 1951 production date. They include photographs of some other staff members doing most of the tasks shown in the video, except for the last one which shows the same woman in the video, but she's actually smiling! And the other woman shown doing most of the tasks is also smiling.
The link for it is
Reviewer: renomart - favorite - May 28, 2013
Subject: Fantastic
I love it!
Reviewer: jeepingeo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 18, 2007
Subject: Kaizen and Lean Manufacturing in a 1949 US Kitchen
Amazing demonstration of Kaizen and Lean Manufacturing in a 1949 American kitchen. It is unfortunate that the Industry and Manufacturing of the same time period overlooked the major benefits that could be achived by simplifying workspaces and making them egronomically correct for the tasks being completed. This is an early demonstration of the continuous improvement principles, in this case applied to kitchen work, that Japan used to their great advantage during the mid-to-late 20th century.
Reviewer: garp6600 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 4, 2007
Subject: absolutly riveting
i cant stop looking at that dress...
there's a film about how she made it somewhere out there i just know it.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 21, 2005
Subject: Paging Todd Haynes!
Once again, someone up there has treated me to a pip of a Home Economics film. (theyre a lot better than the Shop films!) This film begins with a lulu of a credit that credits someone for the ¡°Economical house dresses¡± I knew we were in insane territory from there. From there, an old lady who is not identified, with a mighty strange hairstyle on her head talks to mr and mrs farm couple all about their kitchen. The Mr looks perplexed and looks to the Mrs to see if she knows all about this kitchen stuff. We then go into the modern kitchen that they¡¯ve proposed, and aside from some things I'll point out, there's not much has changed. The one thing that's funny about this is that there's cupboards for everything. Cupboards for Potatoes, cupboards for flour, cupboard for garbage etc etc. Fun! There's even a table that slides out for doing ¡®menial and boring tasks¡¯ which is good because the lady demonstrating this kitchen looks terribly bored throughout this. What was her problem? Realizing that most of the backbreaking work has been taken away from her? This reminded me for some strange reason, of Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven. The woman in the film even makes a cake. I wonder if she darted from the house soon after.
This is highly recommended!
Reviewer: Umass_Kid - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 11, 2004
Subject: How to be a domestic slave, and like it!
Great film dedicated to the science of Kitchen life. Saving the housewife from chores around the kitchen. There are great shot in here of kitchen appliances, cooking, shelves, serving wear, and Cake! The best is at the end where we see the Mom , Dad and the 2.5 children.
Reviewer: Marysz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 7, 2004
Subject: The Grim World of the Farm Wife
A well meaning film about a scientifically designed kitchen to help Âfarm homemakers do their kitchen work faster and more efficiently. We watch an unsmiling woman perform basic cooking tasks alone in a drab, utilitarian kitchen. According to the filmÂs credits, even her Âfunctional housedress was designed by the ÂBureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics of the Department of Agriculture. Since this isnÂt a film intended to sell appliances or any other products, it has doesnÂt have any of the crass sales pitches that characterize so many of the other films about housework that we see at the Archives.

The film has a female narrator, a welcome relief from the usual bombastic male voice-over. SheÂs an older woman we see sitting in an office showing blueprints of the kitchen to a weary-looking middle aged couple. ÂSince you folks have an old-fashioned kitchen, you know the amount of bending and stooping that must be done. As in so many of these Home Economics films, an authoritative woman sits in an office and talks about the value of housework. But we donÂt see her doing any; sheÂs obviously found the truly efficient housekeeping solutionÂget a job outside the home and not do it at all.
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